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Utah Man Convicted Of Molesting His Niece May Have Other Victims

MILLBRAE (CBS SF) -- A Utah man was found guilty Monday of two felony charges related to the sexual molestation of his then seven-year-old niece at a Millbrae home, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Latu Kamisese Lavaki, now 62, molested the girl in her own home during the Christmas break of the 2006-2007 school year, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

He was found guilty after a 14-day trial of one count of performing a lewd act on a child and one count of forcible sexual penetration and now faces up to eight years in prison, according to District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

The jury deadlocked on a third count, felony oral copulation on a child.

Prosecutors said Lavaki lured the girl into an upstairs room of the home by promising her a chocolate bar and, when they were alone, removed her clothes and molested her.

Several years later, the victim came forward with her story after learning that her mother and at least two of her aunts had also been molested by Lavaki in the 1980s, Wagstaffe said.

Tuesday, the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office issued a news release saying investigators believe there might be additional victims. Sheriff's officials asked for the public's help in locating any witnesses or victims that have yet to come forward.

Lavaki, who was arrested about two years ago and was extradited from Utah, is "a prolific sexual predator" who "victimized many girls over the past few decades," sheriff's officials said in the news release.

Some of his other alleged crimes have gone un-prosecuted because the statute of limitations has expired, sheriff's officials said.

Anyone with additional information or whose children had contact with Lavaki is asked to contact Detective Sgt. Joseph Cang at (650) 363-4008 or

Lavaki is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 7.


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